Since we are fast approaching 2014, it is time to evaluate how I did! Honestly, I totally forgot about these by about May. But, since the principles were ones I've been trying to apply overall to my life, I did manage to make progress. Let's see here...
"I would like to make the best use of fewer pieces, rather than searching through a mountain of rarely-worns trying to find that one item I adore to wear again."I feel like I have grown in the area of quality, for sure. I got over my fear of the expensive, but unfortunately I did not trade that out for an "in moderation" mentality. Something got into me this year and I've felt like I needed to completely re-do our wardrobes. Which, since some things were still hanging on by their threads from circa 2005, was probably true. But it cost be a pretty penny.
In general, I have definitely adopted a more simplistic approach to life and as a result have been tossing things out like crazy. I actually have a goal # of trash bags to fill up each week as I try to de-clutter our lives. Also along this vain, I've been more strict in my closet clean-outs and hosted a "Shop My Closet" event earlier this year that was so much fun! I have another one scheduled for January once the Christmas rush at the Post Office is over. ;) It feels really, really good to purge and have less stuff to spend time walking or digging around to find what you're looking for. Did I grow in this area this year? Yes!
"I've strayed from putting the effort into a necklace and bracelets. I would like to re-inspire that part of my attire and accessorize more!"I bought/acquired several necklaces this year! Sadly I learned that my neck muscles can't handle the big chunky ones I love, but the light, sparkly ones are fab. Bracelets were trickier than I remember with my skinny wrists, but I have bought several now that I really enjoy wearing. I even bought a watch! Haven't worn one of those in 8 years. :P I feel a lot more put together wearing a bracelet now for some reason. Did I grow in this area this year? Yes!
"I would like to make a general move towards less chemicals on my skin. :) "Well, this one has been a journey for sure. I posted in March about how much I loved my new homemade deodorant, which was one thing I mentioned specifically wanting to pursue. It worked awesome for me for a couple weeks, but then my skin started having a bad reaction to it and I actually got an infection and had to get a medicated cream. :P I realized my recipe had too much baking soda, so I experimented with using different ratios but haven't found one I'm happy with yet. I go back and forth between conventional and natural now, depending on the day's activities, but I'm still pursuing this. (BTW, the Arm & Hammer deodorant in this picture does have aluminum in it. I didn't realize that when I took the picture.)
Besides deodorant, I have switched to several other natural beauty products and am loving it!
- The biggest one has been going from washing my hair every-other day with normal shampoo to washing it every 4-5 days with baking soda and vinegar! (Here's the link) My hair has never been happier.
- As mentioned in the Awk+Awe post I linked to a second ago, I made my own body butter and am still using it (a little goes a long way!) in place of chemical-laden lotions.
- This year I also have learned a lot more about essential oils and have enjoyed quite a few Epsom-salt and oil-that-will-help-with-whatever-problem-I'm-having baths. My favorites have been a combination of clove, orange, rosemary, and clery sage. (Heads up, ladies, clery sage and/or frankincense are incredible for getting rid of cramps!)
- Another thing I made was shower gel from shea butter and castile soap. Very nice and perfect for scrubbing after a sweaty day in the TN summer heat.
- Although I have yet to try to make it for myself, I have been getting organic bar soap to use in place of like, Irish Spring and I feel really good about that switch.
- During the summer (before I had to stay out of the sun completely thanks to that nasty antibiotic), I used coconut oil in place of sunscreen.
- No longer ever use conventional chap-stick: only all-natural stuff.
- I spend a lot of time brushing my teeth. So, after an attempt or two at making my own toothpaste (bleh), I splurged and bought Auromere Herbal Toothpaste which has lasted me a good long while since it takes less. I'll be buying this again when I need it, fo sho.
Did I grow in this area this year? Yes! (Although I still have so much to learn!)
"Since I have to be smart about how much I spend on clothing, I would like to support thrift stores and second-hand shops instead of Walmart."
I just looked over my spending spreadsheet from the year and I don't think I bought any clothes at Walmart this year! I did buy socks and gloves when I was out at the Farmer's Market and freezing, but other than that, beauty products were the extent of my Walmart shopping. I shopped about 50% at thrift stores this year, 25% online, and 25% retail. This is a huge deal for me, because in years past a lot of my wardrobe has come from Walmart. Did I grow in this area this year? Yes!!
"I hope 2013 is the year I make use of the things already in my possession and create one-of-a-kind pieces."
Hmmm... 'fraid I didn't re-purpose quite as much as I had hoped I would, but I did do more than I did in 2012, which means progress, right? I have hardly sewn at all this year, sadly, but I didn't let any more alteration projects pile up-- I took care of the easy ones right away. Did I grow in this area this year? A little!
4.5/5 isn't bad, right? When I began this post, I really thought I had failed many of these, but in writing I've realized a lot of this came organically as I purposed to make my whole life more simple, natural, and higher quality. Haha, yay! Did you have any appearance goals for 2013? How did you do on them? What kinds of goals are you making for 2014? I'm crafting my new hopes for the year and could use suggestions, so do share! Blessings!